textile; rank insignia; Mandarin square

A mandarin square, or rank badge, buzi, made of silk and woven in tapestry or 'kesi' technique. It is made in two equal sized sections and sewn together along one selvedge to be sewn to the front of a court surcoat. It depicts a paradise fly-catcher, emblem of rank of a civil official, ninth rank. The bird, woven predominantly in cream silk with some pink and green, with two very long tail feathers, is looking upwards, wings outstretched, towards a red sun in the top left hand corner. It is surrounded by blue clouds and dotted about are many symbolic motifs, including a lotus, castanets, bamboo tube and rods, a jar and a mystic knot, all worked in gold-coloured metal-wrapped thread on a black ground. Woven in shades of blue and white are five bats, chrysanthemem flowers and cherry blossom. The sea is depicted using converging diagonal lines. The imagery is framed with a swastika patterned border, worked in brown silk and metal-wrapped thread. [Textile]

Collection Information

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